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Historic Geneva to Hold History Harvest

Jul 27th, 2022

Geneva, N.Y.: Historic Geneva is hosting two History Harvests for the Make a Way Somehow 30th-anniversary project. The goal of the History Harvests is to document Geneva's Black community from 1965 to the present day, continuing the story told in the original 1991 Make a Way Somehow exhibit.  

During the History Harvests, Archivist Becky Chapin and Curator John Marks will offer limited digitization and scanning services and give advice on caring for family documents. The organization's staff will be asking for help in identifying photographs from their collection and gathering information about the Black community, with a focus on the years from 1965 to the present. Historic Geneva also welcomes information outside of this time period as a way to preserve all of Geneva’s stories.

On Saturday, August 20, Becky and John will be at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church at 70 Clark Street from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. On Saturday, September 10, they will be at the Geneva Public Library in the Community Room from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  

For further information or questions about the project, please email or call 315-789-5151 and ask for Becky Chapin or John Marks. 
In 1988, Historic Geneva invited those from the local Black community to share their stories as part of the Make a Way Somehow project. The multi-year project documented the Black experience in Geneva from the earliest days of settlement through 1965. The culmination of the research was the 1994 publication of the book Make a Way Somehow: African American Life in a Northern Community, 1790-1965 by Kathryn Grove. It remains the most comprehensive account of the Black experience in Geneva.

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the book's publication, Historic Geneva is creating an exhibit opening in 2023 that will continue the story of Geneva’s Black community since 1965. In recognition of this significant anniversary, Historic Geneva is looking for photos, objects, oral histories, articles, and other materials that represent the community for the exhibit. The book Make a Way Somehow is still in print and available online and at Geneva Public Library for those who are interested in learning more.

The use of a Geneva Public Library meeting space by an unaffiliated organization does not constitute the Library's endorsement of said organization's policies or beliefs. 

The Geneva History Museum is owned and operated by Historic Geneva, formerly the Geneva Historical Society. Historic Geneva tells the stories of Geneva, New York at the Geneva History Museum, Rose Hill Mansion, and Johnston House, and online at

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